This weekend I was scheduled to run 12 today with 6 miles at race pace and then 6 tomorrow. I decided on Thursday that I wanted to run another long run. I missed a 12 mile run while I was sick. Last week's 20 mile was a hodge podge of miles and it did not feel like a long run. So, on a whim I asked my coach and she gave me her blessing.
I knew the run would be tough. As I have said many times, I do not run well in warm and humid weather. Today was of course warm and humid. Why in mid December can it not feel like December is a mystery. Today is was 72 degrees when I left home at 7am. Thankfully it was mostly overcast. I did have the pleasure of running in rain, in sun, through mud, and against wind. The conditions were pretty much horrible in my opinion. I am praying that I have used up all my bad weather luck!
So, as for the run it was tough! I knew almost immediately I was going to struggle. My legs were tired and I thought they were pretty rested. The first 3 miles passed quickly although slowly. I tried to pick up the pace for the next 6 miles without much success. I did speed up, but I did not hit race pace. My legs were having no part of it. My splits were 8:29, 8:30, 8:31, 8:27, 8:29, and 8:33.
After that 6 decided there was no way I would run 9 more. I was pretty much miserable and hot. Then I thought I am hot, covered in mud, and already running. Why not finish what I started out to do? So, I did. I ran two slower miles and then picked up the pace a little. I was feeling somewhat better and I finished strong.
My time was 2:46.40 and I worked for every mile. The last time I ran 18 miles my time was 2:45.xx and I felt like I was floating. I loved that run. I still think about how great that run was. I pray that marathon day feels more like floating and less like full on pain.
As for the mud, around mile 3.5 I stepped in a huge muddy patch of grass. My shoes were so white and pretty. A little disclaimer....I prefer gray sneaks with color, but I got these super cheap on The Clymb so I could not pick my color. My first thought was to go home and change my shoes. My foot was so wet and I hate mud. Then I realized that was dumb and I should just keep running. Look at how gross my sneakers are now...
The best part of my run today was seeing this....
Despite this being a tough run and not quite the confidence booster I hoped it would be, overall it was positive. I fully decided not to carry water during the marathon. My arm swing is too high when I wear my hydration belt and it is uncomfortable. I will use what is on the course. I have had issues with taking GU. My stomach gets a little upset and I am just having a harder time taking it. I don't know what to do about this. At this point I can't really change my plan, but I may rethink things for The Woodlands.
Finally, I know I can survive a marathon in any weather. If it is warm I may end up walking. That is okay. If it is cool, I know I can run the entire thing. My goal for this marathon was to run a 3:40. I just don't think I am in shape for that and I am okay with that. I will run my heart out to get the best time possible. I still have big dreams, but I don't think I am there yet. Maybe March!